- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Florida socialite at the heart of the adultery scandal that tainted retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, has filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming she was libeled.

Jill Kelley and her husband, Dr. Scott T. Kelley, filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Washington claiming that the FBI and the Pentagon, as well as other unnamed government officials, “willfully leaked damaging, false information” to the media, ultimately violating their privacy, United Press International reported.

It was Mrs. Kelley’s complaint to the FBI about harassing emails from an anonymous woman that ultimately sent investigators to the discovery of the affair between Mr. Petraeus, who later became CIA director, and Ms. Broadwell. Investigators also used Mrs. Kelley’s complaint as justification to look into Marine Gen. John Allen’s communications, UPI reported. Gen. Allen ultimately was cleared of any wrongdoing.

“Today is an unforgettable day,” Mrs. Kelley said, as UPI reported, “because one year ago threatening emails shook my life and ultimately changed our country’s leadership. It was under the faithful direction of our concerned military leaders that I went to the law enforcement to seek the proper protection for my family. … But unfortunately, we did not receive the confidentiality and protection.”

She added: “We received highly hurtful and damaging publicity from willful leaks from high-level government officials that were false and defamatory,” UPI reported. “In addition we also learned that our personal emails were wrongfully searched and improperly disclosed.”

FBI and Pentagon officials did not have a comment, UPI reported. The report did not specify what the suit sought to recover.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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